Ever wondered what makes Supermotos so awesome? We caught up with Kerryan De La Cruz of Socal Supermoto to get the low down. “Our belief is riding supermoto is the purest and most fun form of riding that encompasses every discipline. It teaches you to adjust to variables regardless of "circuit" or environment, you learn how to truly become connected with the terrain by learning the language of the motorcycle.” - Kerryann
Read on to learn more!
Babes Ride Supermotos is back for 2019! We just had so much fun last year! Mark your calendars and reserve your spots for Sunday May 19th and Sunday November 17th 2019! Go to https://www.socalsupermoto.com/ for more info or Click HERE to book
What is Supermoto?
It is a long travel suspension, dirt oriented motorcycle with smaller wheels, street tires, and better front braking. The first mass produced supermoto bike was the Suzuki DR-Z400. To this day they still produce it almost exactly the same as they did back in 1999(the first ones were dirt) and the SM in 2005. There were a few other manufacturers that did a limited run and people who built supermoto's but the DR-Z is generally considered the grand daddy of the supermoto's and deserves credit for its longevity. Currently they are considered more of an entry level or introduction to supermoto, although many people find them perfectly adequate. They are cheap, reliable and hearty when properly cared for, parts both aftermarket and OE are abundant and cheap plus they are always in demand so they are easy to sell if you want to upgrade to a better bike such as the Husqvarna FS450 which is currently considered the most capable supermoto from the factory.
Technically speaking supermoto is racing/riding a circuit with 80% asphalt and 20% dirt.
Why is it awesome...why is it different? It is awesome because it is not necessarily different, but it is everything. Our belief is riding supermoto is the purest and most fun form of riding that encompasses every discipline. It teaches you to adjust to variables regardless of "circuit" or environment, you learn how to truly become connected with the terrain by learning the language of the motorcycle. The fact that you have the mechanics of a dirt bike with the "streetability" makes it ridiculously fun and palatable for all riders that originate from all styles of riding. When you think about it, back in the 50's every bike was a supermoto, you flat tracked or hill climbed the same bike you took to work and went on joy rides with. THAT is supermoto. It's not all about the bike, the body position, the location, the gear, the terrain...it is your ability to adapt to varying traction. The world is your supermoto track.
How can it help improve your skills overall?
A supermoto bike is a raw machine. It is stripped down. It is basic. It is pure function. You must rely on your ability to read the feedback your machine is giving you to know where the bike's limits are which can change with every mile, lap even seconds! By relying on these very basic and vital skills such as looking through the turn, counter steering, staying light on the bars, trail braking, throttle control and so on and so forth over time you develop muscle memory for these techniques. That very muscle memory is your bodys immediate response to something as insignificant as coming to a stop or throttling out of loss of rear traction in the middle of a turn with gravel. No one is born with this, it MUST be learned and practiced over and over. These are not just performance skills, these are BASIC riding skills that most people forget or never learn but are heavily emphasized and used in Supermoto. The beauty of it is you won't even realize you're learning because you're having so much damn fun.
A day in the life of a Socal Supermoto Class:
We have 2 types of classes, asphalt only is different in 2 ways. 1.) it does not include the dirt section and 2.) is led by instructor Stuart Smith who is a world class performance riding instructor that worked for Keith Code at California Superbike School, has set many track records and accomplished countless podiums racing, and currently runs the racers school for Track Daz. Supermoto school with dirt is led by Brian Murray(CEO) and myself. We also offer private training on week days for those who want more focused training, the benefit is having your own very instructor and little to no traffic on the track. Instructors are myself, Bucky Sacrilege, Krino Pan, Hans King and Rafael DaSilva.
Each class will have between 16-20 students of varying skill level from brand new to riding to amateur racers. Everyone learns THE SAME DAMN THING, crazy huh? Not so crazy when you think about how we all put our lives on the line riding in traffic with cars daily and that all motorcycles are pretty much the same thing: seat, brakes, bars, clutch, throttle, frame, engine, wheels and a few other parts here and there. We have plenty of gear which includes one piece leather suits, mx boots, back protectors, gloves, and helmets. Our free gear rental is first come, first serve so we recommend bringing gear just in case everyone in your class is the same size as you.
We start the morning with a safety/track etiquette talk and introduction to the bikes(Suzuki DR-Z400 and Yamaha TTR125) and style of riding(foot out supermoto style akin to mx style). Your first session is always slow and easy.....no really, your job on the track is 2 things: 1.) ride around and 2.) don't crash. First sesh is also guided by Brian or myself, we initially tow each student around the track so they can see the right lines and body position. From there we continue the day with in classroom lessons and roughly 15 minute riding sessions in between. We also do coaching during sessions and give feedback to students if we notice anything of concern or that someone is struggling with something. If you book a supermoto with dirt class we open up the dirt section after lunch around 12:30-1:00pm. Lunch consists of the finest pizza in all of Riverside, seriously, its good! We also have a water dispenser but encourage everyone to bring their own water as well. Towards the end of the day around 3:00pm we run the infamous "Student Race"! We start by parking all bikes perpendicular to the track and set students directly across from their bike on the other side of the track, when the flag drops(or well when we yell RACE) students sprint across to their bike and continue on to the track for 4 laps. The rules are to race like gentlewomen...if someone shows you a wheel you give it to them, no dirty passing, no banging bars, no dropping banana peels or clobbering your opponents with a wrench. You are racing for the honor of a high five, granted its a good high five but it's really not hospital visit good. (But hey, if thats your thing AMA and WAR puts on great sanctioned races). At that point we hand out the goods! Every student earns their choice of either a super duper soft and comfy tank top, shirt or rad trucker hat and you have the ability to buy more rad gear from us if you want to bring home a souvenir for a friend or you can cop one of our sick classic flat track inspired MX Shaka Jerseys. We also consider this the end to "instruction". The track closes at 5:00pm so students are instructed they may go out and "free ride" if they still wish to get some seat time in but usually everyone is cooked by then because we get SO MUCH track time. Throughout the day you have been paparazzi'd generously and we'll email you a full gallery of your on and off track photos that you can save for freeeee 99 plus you'll get a couple other extra goodies in that post day email.
I'll close this with something that Brian and I joke about a lot, we are terrible motorcyclists these days, between work, kids, surfing, skateboarding and snow boarding, well life in general our current lives have transformed us as riders. We've sold off our personal bikes(well except one) and dedicated our life to having fun with whatever that means at that point in time. We aren't going to make you champion racers, we aren't going to show you how to connect your soul to your motorcycle, what we LIVE for as riders is showing you how to have fun because in the end thats all that matters, and the best way to do that is by enjoying yourself more because you are now better equipped with the skills to live a longer funner life as a rider.